Jamshedpur FC are set to welcome East Bengal FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) as both teams vie for three crucial points in the playoff race at the JRD Tata Sports Complex in Jamshedpur on Thursday

The Men of Steel have won eight points from four games since the resumption of the league, and that has taken them to the sixth spot with 17 points from 16 games.

The Red & Gold Brigade follows them with 15 points from 14 matches in eighth place in the table, having collected their first win in their previous six ISL matches during their 1-0 win over Hyderabad FC last Saturday.

Jamshedpur FC, on the other hand, put four goals past Punjab FC and kept a clean sheet in their last game to secure an important victory on the road, further skyrocketing their confidence since a change of guard. East Bengal FC had beaten Jamshedpur FC by 2-0 in the semi-final of the Kalinga Super Cup, which is when these two sides last squared off.

However, the Carles Cuadrat-coached side has endured a middling form since late January, and they will be keen to build upon their victory in the coming match against the high-flying Red Miners.

What’s at stake?

Jamshedpur FC

Despite the aforementioned Super Cup loss, Jamshedpur FC is unbeaten in its last two ISL fixtures against East Bengal FC. A similar result in the coming game will help them secure their longest such run in the competition against the Red & Gold Brigade.

They have rediscovered their scoring boots since Khalid Jamil took over the reins, netting consecutively in their last six matches. In fact, they have scored three goals or more thrice in this duration.

The last time they went on a longer scoring streak was a stretch of 11 matches from January to March 2022. Moreover, the tactician boasts of a 67% winning rate against East Bengal FC in the ISL, his best record against any team that he has faced at least twice in the competition. His teams had defeated them by 2-1 in his first two face-offs against the Kolkata-based club in the ISL, before drawing 1-1 most recently.

Jamil has hit the right spots since he assumed responsibilities at Jamshedpur FC, building a formidable defence, industrious midfield, and an efficient frontline. All of them will have to operate at the top of their game in the clash against East Bengal FC.

East Bengal FC

After snapping their six-match-long winless streak, East Bengal FC will now hope to secure consecutive victories in the ISL for the very first time since beating Hyderabad FC by 1-0. Cleiton Silva was on the scoresheet at the Gachibowli Stadium against the Thangboi Singto-coached team, and that has led to Cuadrat’s side now finding the back of the net in each of their last three away encounters in the ISL.

Doing so once again against Jamshedpur FC will produce their longest-ever scoring streak on the road in the competition, and the offensive contingent comprising Silva, Nandhakumar Sekar, Naorem Mahesh Singh, amongst others, will be eager to do so.

An interesting facet to look forward to in the coming game is set pieces, considering that Cuadrat has trained his team well to defend them so far.

They have conceded only twice from set-pieces this season, which is the joint-lowest along with Mumbai City FC amongst all teams.

On the other hand, Jamshedpur FC have netted nine times from such scenarios in ISL 2023-24, with dead ball specialists such as Jeremy Manzorro, Rei Tachikawa, and others helping them create impressive goal-scoring opportunities. Will the outcome of this game be decided from a corner or a free-kick too? Let’s wait and watch.

Key Players to Watch Out

Jeremy Manzorro (Jamshedpur FC)

The French playmaker has been central to the recent resurgence of Jamshedpur FC, having scored four goals and assisted once in 14 appearances this season. He has created 18 goal-scoring opportunities and averaged 49 passes per game at 79% accuracy.

His ability to both earn and create chances from set pieces is admirable, having earned 34 fouls so far in the competition. He has made four interceptions and taken 1.5 shots per game on average, thus being crucial in both asserting pressure on the opponents as well as putting the opportunities coming his team’s way to bed.

For Manzorro to maintain certain consistency in his performances moving forward will be crucial for the team’s chances in the next eight games.

Nishu Kumar (East Bengal FC)

Nishu Kumar delivered a peach of a pass to assist Silva’s goal in the last match, displaying his lethal skills moving forward on the field. With six interceptions and 19 clearances, the fullback has given a fair account of his defensive abilities in his 12 ISL appearances this season.

He averages 23 passes per game at 72% accuracy and has made 10 tackles in the league. Nishu has created seven goal-scoring opportunities and produced two assists, though he is yet to find the back of the net until now. Silva is dominant in the air and that opens up chances for East Bengal FC to put teasing deliveries into the box. Nishu will be instrumental in making that happen. Moreover, he has aggregated a duel success rate of 72.61% in ISL 2023-24, winning 37 out of the 51 duels that he has been involved in. This is the best record for any player in the league who has engaged in at least 50 duels, showing the player’s attitude and keenness to put his body on the line during challenges.

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Head-to-Head

Played – 7

Jamshedpur FC – 2

East Bengal FC – 2

Draws – 3

Trivia: East Bengal FC defender Hijazi Maher averages 5.9 clearances per game in ISL 2023-24, which is the highest amongst all players in the top tier.

Team Talk

"We are training for the coming game as we do for every other match. East Bengal FC is definitely a very good team, and we have to perform very well to clinch three points from this match," Jamshedpur FC head coach Khalid Jamil admitted in the pre-match press conference.

"Most games are difficult. Jamshedpur FC is a very good team that plays with a high level of intensity and it will be very demanding for our players," East Bengal FC head coach Carles Cuadrat quipped ahead of the game.

ISL Fantasy

Cleiton Silva (7cr)

Scored in the last match vs Hyderabad FC

Jeremy Manzorro (4.8cr)

Bagged a brace in the previous game

TP Rehenesh (3.5cr)

Solid, dependable figure between the posts for Jamshedpur FC

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Where to Watch

Fans across the country can catch the action in English, Hindi, Bengali, and Malayalam. Fans can watch the action on linear channels like Sports18 Khel (Hindi), Sports18 1 HD (English), Sports18 3 SD (English, Hindi, Malayalam and Bengali), VH1 SD & HD (English), Surya Movies (Malayalam), News 18 Kerala (Malayalam – select matches) & DD Bangla (Bengali). Fans can also catch the action streaming Live for free on JioCinema, the home of Indian football. In addition to this, as part of FSDL’s partnership with OneFootball, ISL live streams and highlights of all matches of the upcoming 2023-24 season will be delivered across more than 190 countries.